Thank you notes are a treasure

Every day I make two treks to the mailbox. The morning trip is my routine for getting checks dispersed to a great variety of people and businesses in the building industry. The afternoon jaunt is for gathering the stack of catalogs, bills and notices. Occasionally something special catches my eye in this stack of paper. […]

Xeriscaping takes effort

I’m a big fan of drought-tolerant grasses. Bermuda and buffalo grass are my favorites. Both are found in great supply around my place, and I’ve watched them hang on through years of rain famine with little care. While I’m committed to saving our precious water supply, I’ll tell you I’m not a big fan of […]

It’s a plague

Business owners, we need to talk. I just don’t see how we can continue on in the same old fashion with me continually handing over so much money to you. What is your company name doing splashed all over jerseys of little league teams? If you can afford to buy all those shirts, you’re making […]

It’s been a special spring in the NM High Plains

It was another beautiful morning. Birds were singing, roses were working on their first buds of the season, dandelions were giving me a reason to stay outside, and a soft breeze kept the hair out of my face. I realized I’d lost all credibility with new friends who’d recently moved here from the East Coast. […]

Those who don’t want to drink, don’t have to drink

This thing about whether or not the folks in nearby Muleshoe will have alcohol sales in their town is soon coming up before the voters there. I always thought if you want a refreshing libation you ought to be able to get one somewhere. If you don’t like booze, don’t buy any. But life is […]

Dogs have us with just one glance

Somehow over the course of a few thousand years, dogs have managed to edge themselves into a pretty good spot when it comes to humans. While some species avoid or have altogether adversarial relationships with humans, dogs have managed to wiggle their way into human hearts to such an extent they are more often than […]

People need guidelines for gadgets

Have you noticed those ads on TV concerning meal time? There’s one in which the family is successful in getting the teenager to put down her cell phone and enjoy the food. Then there’s another ad in which a teenaged girl is telling a story to her family with great detail. Again, the same feeling […]

An exceptional word

The gentleman on the newscast kept referring to a speech as being quintessential. Then I heard it again. Everyone was using the word quintessential. And I realized that I never use that word, and I’d be half afraid of interjecting it incorrectly. It was time for some research. Obviously it has something to do with […]

Not ready for world of text speak

I’m curious to know how many high school or college students would be able to tell you the meaning of this Shakespearean passage: “Look thou be true; do not give dalliance “Too … much the rein: the strongest oaths are straw “To the fire i’ the blood: be more abstemious, “Or else, good night your […]

Officials continue the fight for military retirement

The Military Coalition can make Congress tremble from time to time, by presenting a united front of millions of members from more than 30 military associations and veterans’ service organizations in support of, or opposition to, legislation impacting military folks and veterans. That lesson was learned by budget committee chairmen a few Decembers ago after […]

Surely life is not a basketball game

Life is not a basketball game. I suppose I could write up some analogy about the game of life, but today I’m staying with the original thesis. Recently I was in a packed gym. About 80 percent of the crowd was cheering for my team. The other 20 percent was a vocal, seemingly angry, quite […]

Not everybody has some place to go on Thanksgiving

Grant McGee CMI Columnist Thanksgiving is up ahead. It’s a good time to get together with family and friends and spread the love, even though we all know spending time with family over the holidays can get weird quickly. But sometimes there are folks who don’t have any family or friends to hang with. I […]

Health agency online in October

A new Defense Health Agency (DHA) comes to life this month, armed with new authorities to control health costs by cutting waste and duplication across the separate medical departments of Army, Navy and Air Force. DHA is tasked to streamline delivery of care, recapture thousands of patients for the direct care system from purchased care […]

Nation needs true health reform

Want a glimpse of what the Obamacare battle will look like in 2015? Just glance at liberal websites. You’ll find a trove of insurance company bashing. Are insurance premiums rising instead of falling by the $2,500 per family that Obama repeatedly promised in 2009? They are. If you consult ThinkProgess, Daily Kos and Physicians for […]

NSA leaker gives us real-life Carmen Sandiego

You saw CNN Monday afternoon. People in my general age range saw the nerdiest part of their lives flash before their eyes. The on-screen headline said, “Where in the world Is Edward Snowden?” The man who leaked essential information about our government’s spying programs is on the run from charges of espionage and theft, with […]

What I’d do for an ice cream bar

Ice cream bar commercials make me wonder what I’d do for one. After solemn deliberation, here are a few things: • Watch first-graders play volleyball. • Play “Words with Friends” against Alec Baldwin during takeoff. • Sit on a front pew without smirking about the length of women’s skirts determining their fates. • Fill out […]

McGee: Anyone lose a llama?

I encountered a llama in an open field the other day. Actually it was the local industrial park. I knew it didn’t belong there. I stopped my bicycle. This made the llama prance a bit. I’m glad that’s all it did. Llamas and their kin are known to spit at people. “Well what are you […]

In search of ponies: Dogs may provide help for recovering addicts

Their ability to calm the anxious, sooth the traumatized and break through barriers is well established — leading dogs to be welcomed into classrooms, hospitals, nursing homes and a slew of therapeutic environments. Something about interacting with them miraculously brings out smiles on the faces of people who have plenty of reasons to do anything […]

In search of ponies: Iran difficult on dogs, owners

Maybe Snoopy saw it coming. Sign after sign popping up with the deep voice that lamented “No dogs allowed.” But it was the 70’s, and even though endearing, Snoopy was still a dog. Yet in a world where pets have gone from being rejected to tolerated to welcomed and even catered to, it’s more than […]

McGee: That fortune teller was onto something

I came across a news story about a guy who got caught burglarizing a fortune teller’s home. He wanted his money back, $200,000, which he paid to have a “love spell” cast on a woman. It didn’t work. Have you ever visited a fortune teller? I have. Once. It was long ago and far away […]